Businesses Reduce Upskilling Opportunities, Despite High Demand: Survey

Businesses Reduce Upskilling Opportunities, Despite High Demand: Survey

Degreed, a workforce upskilling platform, has uncovered that business investment in developing skills has not kept up with the growing demand for new skills during the pandemic. Surveying 5,000 workers in eight global markets, The State of Skills: Endangered Skills 2021 report highlights the skills now most at risk of becoming obsolete and the sectors, countries and job roles most in danger. The report is designed to help businesses target upskilling investments at the areas most likely to positively impact their organisations and employees.


The current economic uncertainty resulting from the coronavirus crisis is accelerating demand for new skills among 60 per cent of workers. Yet, nearly half of businesses (46 per cent) have reduced their upskilling opportunities in the past six months. In India, the number is the highest amongst the countries surveyed (72 per cent).


The result is a widening global skills gap: over a third (38 per cent) of workers feel less confident they have the skills to do their job effectively, compared to pre-pandemic, and nearly half (46 per cent) predict their current skills will die out in the next 3-5 years. For Indian workers, this is as high as 73 per cent.


Employees report this is increasing stress levels, and reducing their productivity and performance, which, in turn, hurts businesses. When skills confidence is low, over half of workers (55 per cent) feel more stressed, but also find that tasks take longer to complete (41 per cent) and work is of a lower standard (22 per cent). Nearly half (46 per cent) of global workers also say they are likely to leave their employer if there are no upskilling opportunities.


The report is the first to reveal the specific countries, sectors and job roles where skills are most endangered:


♦ Sector: skills in technology and telecoms, finance, and engineering are most at risk

♦ Global: workers in India, France, and Brazil are the top three countries are most at risk of skills mismatch

♦ Job role: those in IT and HR jobs have the most endangered skills


Chris McCarthy, CEO at Degreed said, "The businesses that survive and flourish following the crisis will be different than they were before. This means workers are having to sharpen their current skills and build new ones to meet changing demand. Yet just as upskilling became vital to economic recovery, most organizations have cut investment in learning and development opportunities. We already know the global skills gap is costing trillions of dollars in lost GDP. Not to mention the impact on employee wellbeing."


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